Archives / 2009 / June
  • Wholesale Rates for your Merchant Account

    I recently saw this ad posted June 23, 2009 on the Orange County Craigslist touting "Wholesale rates for your Merchant Account!"

    The ad reads: "Wholesale rates for your Merchant Account!We meet or Beat any offer: Are you currently processing credit cards with another processor? SAVE thousands of dollars with us by cutting out the middleman. Chase Paymentech Solutions is the Number One Bank Card Acquirer in the World with lowest rates guaranteed at over $500 Billion Visa MasterCard Sales Volume. Call me Now at to take advantage of this limited time offer. a JPMorgan Chase ISO/MSP"

    How familiar does this pitch sound to you?  I would like to hear your thoughts on this style of advertisement and its effectiveness.   

    Are "wholesale rates" really … more

  • Healthcare Merchant Account Scam Alert

    Medical professionals should be aware of a scam currently being perpetrated by unethical merchant account providers. Outbound calls are being placed to medical practices accepting credit cards claiming that they must reprogram their credit card terminal to be HIPAA compliant.

    Vantage has received numerous calls over the last few days from our healthcare clients inquiring about these calls and asking, “Are credit card transactions covered under HIPAA?”

    According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website, transactions conducted between subscribers or patients and health plans or health care providers are not transactions for which the Secretary of Health and Human Services has adopted standards.

    If an individual (i.e., a subscriber or a patient) uses his or … more

  • Outsourcing Credit

    Companies have long benefited from outsourcing.  Popular trends in outsourcing include the business services of payroll, accounting, tax, data entry, human resources, help desk, customer service, lead generation, IT and software development.  A strategic decision to outsource can increase efficiency and allow companies to focus on their core competencies.  Outsourcing can lower costs, make more efficient use of time, labor, capital, technology and specialized resources. 

    Retailers long ago discovered the benefits of outsourcing consumer store credit.  Card companies like MasterCard and Visa have built payment systems with economies of scale that deliver effeciencies and costs savings.  By accepting card payments, sellers do not have to worry about the credit … more

  • Not all merchant service providers are created equal

    We receive calls daily from agents inquiring about the Vantage program. Many of these calls have the same common theme. They go something like this recent paraphrased email exchange…

    Prospective Agent

    I have recently been recruited by a merchant services provider to become a sales person for them. 

    I'm writing to you because this provider does everything you tell your customers on your web site not to do...we lease our equipment to merchants; we have qualified and non-qualified rates and we charge fees to get everything set up. 

    I want to be sure that I'm with the "right" company.  I would appreciate your guidance.

    Vantage Card Services

    Thanks for writing. We applaud your research. 

    The leasing commitment, monthly payments and buy-out clause means … more

  • Interchange Bill Reintroduced in Congress

    H.R. 2695, The Credit Card Fair Fee Act, was reintroduced with slight differences from its 2008 version.  The bill would grant limited antitrust immunity to Interchange rates negotiated between merchants and Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. with a representative of the U.S. Department of Justice attending the negotiations.


    U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., the Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee introduced the bill saying “It is not an attempt at regulating the industry and does not mandate any particular outcome; this legislation simply enhances competition by allowing merchants to negotiate with the dominant banks for the terms and rates of the fees.”


    Right now small and mid sized businesses pay the same Interchange fees as larger chains.  … more

  • myRealRate featured by Microsoft

    myRealRate is making news on the official Microsoft Silverlight site

    A showcase of next generation experiences using Silverlight, myRealRate allows you to compare your real rate with other merchants and discover your true costs for accepting credit cards. uses Silverlight, a rich internet application development environment, to deliver peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, which helps business owners better evaluate their merchant services.

    What is the average cost for accepting card payments in your industry? Are your merchant card processing fees above average or below average?  How can you lower your Real rate?  Find the answers here.


  • The PCI Compliance Fee Gouge

    Just like everything else, a lot has changed since our original post on this topic on June 4, 2009.

    Today the card associations require that all merchants regardless of size validate Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance with this data protection standard.

    Compliance with PCI DSS has always been very important to protect your business. It’s only the validation requirements that have changed. The fees being charged for PCI Compliance are not uniform throughout the industry. Some merchant account providers charge monthly, some annually and some both and these fees can really start to add up.

    Merchants need to be aware of how and when PCI fees are billed to avoid being gouged with excessive fees. Merchants should also know that they may choose to … more

  • PCI 360 Education Program

    The MasterCard Academy of Risk Management has introduced a complimentary initiative to raise awareness and promote the adoption of PCI. The program provides a holistic and informative platform for participants to increase their understanding of PCI DSS through sessions led by payment industry and data security experts.

    The PCI Merchant Education Program provides a complete view of the PCI DSS through a series of on-demand webinars designed for merchants. These events are designed to:

    Gain the knowledge needed to become PCI compliant

    Learn directly from industry security experts

    View recorded webcasts on your own time

    Take advantage of materials to educate your team and new employees  

    The current course curriculum includes:

    PCI Perspectives: A … more

by Ty Hardison

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